Mitchell to make half time draw

Last updated : 26 February 2003 By Tony Scholes
Earlier in the season Kevin Ball returned and tonight it is the turn of Mitchell Thomas another player who was released at the end of last season and subsequently retired.

It's certainly not Mitchell's first appearance at the Turf this season, he was at the Spurs game earlier in the season watching us beat another of his former clubs.

Signed from Luton in the summer of 1999 it was a signing that surprised most of us with us just having signed a lef-back in Tom Cowan. It was even more surprising when neither of them took up that position on the opening day of the season. Cowan didn't get a game and with Paul Smith at left-back Mitchell won a place alongside Steve Davis in the centre of defence.

He was to play there throughout his first season as the Clarets made a late run to clinch promotion to Division One and the following season he played many games in the centre of defence plus some at right-back as we established ourselves well and truly as a First Division club.

He missed much of last season through injury but came back into the first team and won a regular place. He retained that right up to the last match of the season against Coventry.

With 25 minutes to go he was sacrificed as we went for goal, it was Gareth Taylor who replaced him. Little did we know that the ovation would be the last for Mitchell the Claret. Just a few days later he was released.

Tonight gives us the chance to say goodbye and gives us the chance to say thanks for the excellent three years he gave us, a three years in which he played in 99 league games for the Clarets.